The Benefits of Dr Seuss

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 110 – 15th August 2011

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

ECCPA Conference (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts), Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, Melbourne August 20-21, 2011

KFB Multicultural Book in Reprint! New Price! Save $10.00!

I am pleased to advise that I have recently needed to reprint the Multicultural book – always pleasing to run out of books! The good news for you is that the new price is $85.00 in line with the yellow original KFB book.  This is a saving of $10.00 on the previous price.  It contains 57 tracks of music on 2 x 1 hour CD’s, plus 14 finger plays.  To celebrate, for the month of August, any orders received for this book will be delivered for free.  Please make sure you contact me directly to get this special – – otherwise the website will charge you for the postage.

The Benefits of Dr Seuss

I think Dr Seuss is one of those authors you either love or loathe, but either way, he has been enormously influential.  Whatever it takes to get kids interested in reading is the way to go, irrespective of our own personal preferences.  I was particularly interested to read the following article because it reminded me of a relief class (year 1) I taught years ago.  I was told that it was a particularly difficult class, all of whom had poor concentration, and that I should come prepared.  So I did.  In my usual fashion I brought along all my props – the CD’s and some of the equipment I use in Kidz-Fiz-Biz – but also brought along my “Cat in the Hat” hat and I was wearing my over sized T-shirt of the same name.  I also wore an enormous knitted and brightly colored coat.  I told the children I had ‘tricks up my sleeve’ which kept the agog all day.  I read them the story of the Cat in the Hat on a rainy day while wearing my hat and T-shirt to ‘set the scene’, after which they had to write their own story of what they would like to do on a rainy day.  Sometimes we need ‘over the top’ props to get through and I was very grateful for my Dr Seuss books and pops.  It was an enormously successful day.  They weren’t demons at all, just curious 6 year-olds.

“I’m Naive enough to believe that society will be changed by examination of ideas through books and the press, and that information can prove to be greater than the dissemination of stupidity.” – Theodore Geisel, “Dr Seuss” in a 1984 interview.

“Because I grew up with Dr. Seuss (I was four years old when The Cat in the Hat was published), I often go back to his books for entertainment and enlightenment.  After all, he not only taught my generations how to read, but he taught us how to think – why else would we wear those crazy looking clothes, become war protesters, start the back-to-the-land movement, and drive around the country in colorfully painted buses?  The quote above, like everything Dr. Seuss did, is simple but powerful, and it sums up this tumultuous summer: Rupert Murdoch fell from power, just like Yertle the Turtle, because he climbed on the backs of too many and lost control of the integrity at the bottom.  Our record heat wave tells us that we need to slow down climate change, as The Lorax predicted we would if we prioritized commerce over nature and didn’t take care of our planet.  What would Dr. Seuss think about the current government debacle? I don’t think he would approve of placing the interests of corporations above our social welfare.  The way he taught me to think, it’s not right to protect corporate interests with wars fought and paid for by the working class and then balance the budget by cutting social and educational programs that might have given underprivileged kids a chance to succeed.  Johnny can’t read, but that’s ok because he’ll drop out of school and join the military, keeping the world safe for American oil tankers.  Sorry, Tea Partiers, that’s not a Revolution, that’s a Road to Ruin.”

Jim Barnes, Editor and Book Awards Director – Independent Publisher Newsletter – August 2011

Quotes of the Week

“A donkey with a load of books is still a donkey.” ~ Traditional Sufi saying

“Be who you are because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr Seuss

“Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write.  If all feels hopeless, if that famous ‘inspiration’ will not come, write.  If you are a genius, you’ll make your own rules, but if not – and the odds are against it – go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper – write.” ~ J.B Priestly



“Hi Marlene,

Was just reading a newsletter from April that I hadn’t read and was so impressed with your comments that I had to write to say well done.  I agree that there is so much hoo ha about being politically correct and the children miss out on our basic beliefs and traditions because of it.  Well done and keep it up.

Regards” – Julie, Music Teacher at East Wanneroo Primary, Western Australia

“Hi Marlene,

I watched a teacher in year one singing French, German and Maori with your CDs, and one little girl who was Maori sang very well in her own language.  It was lovely to see.  I also had some Kindy kids dancing to the sailor’s hornpipe, I had that class as a relief teacher and they loved it.  I think the EA in the class liked the music as it was a change from some of the other recordings she had heard.

Cheers” – Elizabeth Neeson, Perth

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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